Resiliency Centers in the face of Fiona's emergency
By Maria del Mar Santiago - Coordinator
Last September, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Fiona, which caused disasters in many parts of the archipelago. It was all expectation and fear to be affected by another hurricane and relive the same traumas. Even more so, having a fragile electrical system. As expected, the hurricane caused us to be without power for days. However, thanks to the Resiliency Centers, the response to this emergency was different from Hurricane Maria. When we saw the announcement of the hurricane's impact, we set up the kitchens with the utensils and equipment we needed to operate and implemented the emergency plan. As soon as the hurricane passed, we received calls from allies who provided us with food for cooking. We called for volunteers to cook and distribute hot food. We managed to deliver 800 plates of hot food during the 4 days until power was restored. In addition, residents visited the space to charge their electronic equipment. These are communities with a high population of elderly people and when we delivered the hot meals, many told us that it was their first meal of the day. The resiliency centers were a great help to these people.
Thanks to the Resiliency Centers we have more resilient communities and we are in a better position to respond to an emergency. The world is changing rapidly and vulnerable communities like those in Caño must have the tools and resources for self-sufficiency. However, for the Community Kitchens to be complete we need a potable water system. We are close to reaching the goal, but with your support, and through partnerships with volunteers and other allies, we can improve the project.
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